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Smashwords book reviews by Stephanie

  • Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble on Sep. 15, 2010

    Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble is a light and funny read. Jolie is a fun and spunky heroine. She has a sarcastic sense of humor so we got along. Rand is a proper kind of hero who would never do anything out of line or inappropriate. For the most part I enjoyed this book but there were a few problems that had me stumbling a little. Once everyone finds out about Jolie's powers, every male character wants a piece of the Jolie pie. While this would happen in real life, I find the efforts of the amorous males distracting from the plot line. Then there's the relationship between Rand and Jolie. Rand acknowledges his feelings for Jolie but insists on keeping a proper working relationship. When Rand is ready to take their relationship to the next level, Jolie isn't. There's this back-and-forth relationship through the book that, while creating conflict, also gets frustrating. With that being said, I like this book enough that I look forward to reading the next chapter in Mallory's Jolie Wilkins series. I can't wait to see how it plays out! Check out for the full review.
  • Toil and Trouble on Dec. 26, 2010

    I was really impressed with Toil and Trouble. When I had finished Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, I knew that I would read the next book but wasn't really anticipating it. I started out the book with reservations but H.P. Mallory has really grown as a writer. Toil and Trouble is evidence to this. Jolie is becoming stronger in her role as a very powerful witch. She's also down to only two love interests. Rand and Sinjin are still vying for Jolie's love. Jolie loves Rand but he can't risk letting himself fall in love with her. For about half of the book Sinjin and Jolie really seem like they could be headed somewhere. Rand won't let Jolie fight in the big battle and Sinjin helps her gain strength and experience. He also helps sneak her into the battle. During the battle Jolie is in grave danger when all of a sudden she finds herself in 1878. Getting herself back to her time reveals a lot more interesting story line aspects. I don't want to get too detailed or it will spoil the story. Toil and Trouble is an awesome read for just $2.99. If you are going to pick it up, it is imperative that you read the first book or read a detailed review. This book picks up exactly where the last left off.
  • Dead Man's Eye on March 15, 2011

    Review first published as Review: Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey on Once Upon a Chapter Dead Man's Eye is a good read if you have an hour or two to kill. For the bargain price of $.99 it'll keep you entertained. To be clear this is in no way, shape or form even close to a romance. It is a horror novella. Joanna is the recent recipient of a cornea transplant. While on her way to a doctor’s appointment a man is knocked into the way of a subway train and he loses his arm. Joanna witnesses a black shadow rush towards the man but thinks it is due to some troubles she is having with the transplant. Joanna is in for a serious shock when she leaves her appointment and the man from the station is there but he isn’t the same man that she had conversed with at the station. He looks evil and there is a black aura around him. There is also a black limb where his human arm used to be. It isn’t until Joanna witnesses several strange events and several more black auras that she starts seriously worrying about what is going on. Who is this person and why is he spreading his blackness like an infection? More importantly, who is going to believe her? Jeffrey writes a pretty suspenseful tale in the short amount of pages that the book has, only 126 according to my Nook. The only thing that stopped this book from being a B+ or even an A for me was what I felt was an unnecessary rape scene. We don’t know the woman just that the demon possessing the body gets his kicks from “defiling” human women. Thankfully it is one brief scene and then the story moves on. Overall, Jeffrey does a great job keeping you entertained for a little while without hitting your pocketbook heavily.
  • Honor Bound (Historical Paranormal Romance) on May 21, 2011

    I could not put down Honor Bound. Isabel is a strong woman in a time where men ran the world and all those in it. She doesn't get on your nerves though. She is a smart woman who has supported herself for the past six years. Isabel's decisions are made based on those around her and never for herself. She's a kind and thoughtful soul. She helps the working girls that no one else would bother with. Nicholas has looked for Isabel for the past six years. He never gave up hope and he didn't seek the annulment that his mother kept trying to pressure him into. Nicholas hoped and prayed that one day he'd find Isabel. He just never imagined that it would play out with his investigation into treason and attempted murder. The secondary characters were also awesome, for lack of a better word. They were there to support the main couple but never overshadowed them at any point. Ash, Meg and Old Man Shawe wormed their way into my heart with very limited page space. Particularly Shawe. The mystery was good. I didn't figure out who the baddie was but I have to think that it's because the chemistry between the hero and heroine took up most of my attention. Isabel and Nick don't have to be introduced to each other. They have a history. It's fascinating to watch them work through it and realize how much they mean to each other. It's also nice to watch them work together to try and find the bad guy. Nick also treats Isabel with respect even after all they've been through. The only issue that I encountered is at the end of the book I kept thinking that I was hitting the happily ever after and this was going to be IT. Each time though, there was another issue that popped up only to be taken care of within the next page or two. This is very minor compared to the story that awaits the reader. For $2.99 you shouldn't hesitate to read this book. I'm very much looking to the second in the series. Ash grabbed my attention in the first book and I am very eager to meet the woman who will be his match!